Posts Tagged ‘livermore valley’

Several new and long-standing events will delight visitors and locals across the Tri-Valley this year. The Irish spirit will be celebrated throughout the region’s downtowns and wine country. Here are some highlights of the exciting festivities:

ImageThe City of Dublin hosts its 29th annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration on Saturday, March 17 and Sunday, March 18 in the Civic Plaza. This admission-free event is perfect for the entire family. The festival promises an authentic Irish experience with three stages of entertainment, an Irish tea cottage, carnival rides, crafts and more. The Dublin Lions Club Parade kicks off Saturday at 9:30 am and the Shamrock 5k is Sunday morning. 


Downtown Pleasanton gets the holiday started early with the first-ever St. Patrick’s Day Brew Crawl on Friday, March 16. Enjoy local craft beer and appetizer tastings in at several downtown Pleasanton businesses. Tickets are available online and at several downtown locations for $30 pre-sale and $35 at the door. The last downtown brew crawl sold out in advance, so get your tickets quickly!

Livermore Valley wine country gets in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit with several wineries holding special events. Gold on Greenville Road invites you to taste the Gold Medal-winning wines from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition at participating wineries on Greenville Road. Bent Creek Winery will showcase its 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2009 Zinfandel Port, Charles R Vineyards highlights its 2009 Zinfandel, McGrail Vineyards & Winery for its 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve and Wood Family Vineyards showcases its 2009 Zinfandel. This is an admission-free event, but a $5 tasting fee applies at each location.


Cedar Mountain Winery and Eagle Ridge Vineyard will also have special Irish-themed events and wine pairings during the weekend.

For a complete list of St. Patrick’s Day events in Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon and Danville visit the CVB event calendar. Make it a St. Patrick’s Day weekend getaway and book an overnight stay at one of Tri-Valley’s hotels.


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The 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition proved to be a breakout year for Livermore Valley wineries. With 143 award winners from the region, critics, wine experts and consumers are taking notice of the recent success from the Livermore Valley.

Now you have the chance to celebrate Livermore Valley’s big winners during an intimate winemaker dinner to be held Friday, February 24th at Wente Vineyards. This is sure to be a memorable evening highlighting the award-winning wines, smartly paired with tempting courses from The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards. The gourmet menu includes:

2009 Cuda Ridge Wines MerlotBest of Class- paired with ahi tuna carpaccio, black olives, pickled red onions, fried caper berries, micro greens and herb oil.

2009 Bent Creek Cabernet SauvignonBest of Class- paired with creamy herbed polenta, wild mushroom- oven dried tomato ragout, charred red peppers and focaccia crisp.

2008 Wente Vineyards Nth Degree SyrahBest of Class- paired with smoked grimaud farms guinea hen confit, braised white beans, radicchio, bacon broth.

2008 McGrail Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon ReserveRed Sweepstake Winner- paired with mesquite grilled flat iron, carrot puree, roasted cipollini and salsa verde.

A dessert reception will follow with specially selected wine from each winery.

The evening kicks off at 6:30 pm with a welcome reception. The winemaker dinner and dessert reception will immediately follow from 7:00- 10:00 pm at the Wente Vineyards Event Center. A limited number of tickets are available for purchase online for this intimate evening.

According to Heather McGrail of McGrail Vineyards, the Livermore Valley Winemaker Dinner is just one example of the collaboration evident among wineries throughout the region.

“Everyone was very excited about the results from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and Larry Dino from Cuda Ridge winery approached us about partnering for a winemaker dinner,” said McGrail. “Fortunately, most Livermore wineries enjoy working together and believe in the philosophy that working together creates greatness.”

McGrail Vineyards Winemaker, Mark Clarin, also agrees that the results from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition are just the beginning of great things to come for the Livermore Valley.

“The Livermore Valley has a rich and long history of producing exceptional wines over the past 150 plus years. Among the varieties historically recognized are Sauvignon Blanc and Petite Sirah,” said Clarin. “As we have moved into the 21st Century we are proving that many noble grape varieties can produce outstanding wines including our Cabernet Sauvignon. Livermore Valley AVA – We are cooler than you think.”

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Livermore Valley's winter tradition, Holidays in the Vineyards is December 3-4, 2011.

Take a couple days to get away for some holiday fun during the hustle and bustle of the season! Tri-Valley has a season full of events to treat yourself to during the holidays.

Celebrate the season at Livermore Valley’s annual wine country tradition, Holidays in the Vineyards. This admission-free event is December 3 and 4 from noon to 5 pm. More than 40 wineries will feature special tastings, food pairings and events. Local artisans will be at several wineries offering a wide variety of gifts for holiday giving, including chocolates, honey, jewelry, soaps, garden ornaments, knitwear, stationery, aprons, pet accessories and candles.

Santa Claus will make an appearance at Crooked Vine/Stony Ridge Winery, Rodrigue Molyneaux Winery, White Crane Winery, Cuda Ridge Wines, Longevity Wines, McGrail Vineyards & Winery, Mitchell Katz Winery, Tamas Estates and Wente Vineyards.

Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association hosts this holiday favorite. Check out the organization’s website for a full list of participating wineries, special wines, discounts, activities and vendors.

Cuda Ridge Wines is just one of more than 40 wineries featured in this year's Holiday's in the Vineyards.

Make Holidays in the Vineyards a true wine country weekend escape! Take advantage of the Winter Weekend Getaway, offering a $50 Visa card for a weekend stay at many Tri-Valley hotels. It’s the perfect excuse to pick up an extra bottle of your favorite Livermore Valley wine, dine at one of the Tri-Valley’s heralded restaurants, or pick up the perfect gift for a loved one at a downtown boutique.

Check out or list of perfect places to stay for your Tri-Valley Winter Weekend Getaway!

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After months of renovation, Las Positas Vineyards will open its doors in a new location on Sunday, August 14, with a grand opening celebration. The public is invited to get a first look at the new facility, taste award-winning wines, enjoy food pairings and entertainment from noon to 5 pm.

Las Positas Vineyard started in 2006, when the Maier family purchased a 20-acre vineyard in Livermore. The wines have been available in another tasting room, online, and in several Tri-Valley restaurants. Last fall, the owners purchased an existing winery and 20-acre vineyard on the corner of Wetmore Road and Arroyo Road.

Las Positas Vineyard

Las Positas Vineyards in Livermore, California.

The new winery location is in the middle of Livermore Valley wine country, among the vines and rolling hills of south Livermore. The new tasting room will be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 pm, and by appointment.

Las Positas Vineyards is located at 1828 Wetmore Road in Livermore. For more information about the winery, check out the website or call 925-449-9463.


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One of Livermore Valley’s newest wineries has quickly become a favorite among winery visitors and wine critics alike. Father and son team, Jeff and Collin Cranor, started Nottingham Cellars in 2009 and have been producing award-winning wines ever since.

Using only grapes sourced from the best vineyards in Livermore, Winemaker Collin Cranor handcrafts small lot wines, and carefully tends to the wine in every step of production. The result: amazing quality.

The dedication to the winemaking process has not gone unnoticed by industry experts. Nottingham Cellars won an award for every wine submitted at this year’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Winning wines at the 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition:

2009 Chardonnay – Double Gold
2009 Chardonnay Reserve – Silver Medal
2008 Cabernet Sauvigon – Silver Medal
2008 Ralphi’s Red Blend – Bronze Medal
2008 Syrah – Bronze Medal
2007 Viognier – Bronze Medal

Nottingham Cellars is quickly making a name for itself with numerous awards at major wine competitions.

Nottingham Cellars is quickly gaining acclaim, winning numerous awards at major wine competitions.

Visitors to Nottingham Cellars’ tasting room will have an opportunity to take a look behind the scenes of the winemaking process with the new Wine Education Series. Each month the public is invited to a special seminar that focuses on a specific varietal or step in the winemaking process.

The Wine Education Series is $10 per person and free to Nottingham Cellars Wine Club Members. More information about the Wine Education Series is available online  or by calling the tasting room at 925-294-8647.

Nottingham Cellars Wine Education Series gives insight into the winemaking process.

 Upcoming schedule for the Wine Education Series:

Saturday, June 11th

Wine Education Series: Supremacy Bordeaux Wine

Get an exclusive preview of Nottingham Cellar’s Bordeaux-style blend, Supremacy. Join the winemaker for an intimate presentation and discussion of Bordeaux-style wines. A light food pairing and special tasting be offered.

Saturday, July 9th

Wine Education Series: Malbec 

Just in time for the official release of the 2009 Malbec, get the scoop on the newest release at a presentation, food pairing and exclusive first tasting of the wine.

Saturday, August 13th

Wine Education Series: From Vine to Wine Pt 1 – In the Vineyard 

Wondering just how the grapes go from beautiful lush vineyards to the bottle? The Wine Education Series takes a look at the first step in the wine production. A presentation will discuss aspects of vineyard management and what Nottingham Cellars looks for before the grapes even get to the cellar. They’ll also talk about the source of the grapes, tricks of the trade and more.

Nottingham Cellars is located at 2245 S. Vasco Rd., Unit C in Livermore. The tasting room is open Friday-Sunday, Noon to 4:30 and by appointment.

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Professional cyclists are getting ready to traverse the Livermore wine country as Stage 4 of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California kicks  off in Livermore on Wednesday, May 18, 2011. Cycling through the region’s rolling hills and sprawling vineyards isn’t just for world-class athletes. Visitors can pair cycling and wine with an exclusive Livermore Bike Tour getaway package.

A wine & cycling tour of Livermore wine country is the perfect weekend excursion.

 The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Livermore have teamed up to offer visitors a Livermore Bike Tour package, available now through December 31, 2011. Rates vary by date, but start at just $235 for two. This is a saving of more than 50% off the premium tour alone.

The Livermore Bike Tour Package includes:

  • Overnight accommodations
  • A guided cycling tour through Livermore Valley Wine Country
  • Stops and wine tasting at two Livermore wineries
  • A gourmet lunch and complimentary Livermore wine sampling at Campo di Bocce
  • An olive oil presentation and tasting of Olivina’s  olive oil and balsamic vinegars
  • Dessert and Port pairing

Catch the amazing views of Tri-Valley on a wine & cycle tour.

Tour routes and winery stops vary depending upon riders’ ability and interest, but are generally 6-10 miles total. Tours are kept intimate with groups of no more than 16 people. Wine purchases will be transported for riders to the finishing point of the tour.

Livermore Wine & Cycle Tours offers wine country tours from mid-May through mid-November, weather permitting.

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The Steven Kent Winery is quickly making a name for itself and setting the standard for quality Cabernet Sauvignon from Livermore. The wines are garnering acclaim from industry experts and tasting room visitors alike.

Recently, Wine Enthusiast Magazine rated several Steven Kent wines. Not surprisingly, these wines earned words of praise from the experts. Wine Enthusiast wine ratings are based on tastings by the magazine’s editors and other qualified tasting panelists, either individually or in a group setting. Tastings are conducted blind or in accordance with accepted industry practices.

The Steven Kent Winery tasting room is open daily from noon to 4:30 p.m.

Here’s what the experts at Wine Enthusiast had to say:

Steven Kent 2007 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley

93 points. This is a beautiful, intricate and appealing Cabernet to drink with upscale fare, like a very fine steak. It’s bone dry, but very rich and sweet in blackberry, cherry and currant fruit, and there’s a nice cut of acidity for balance. Steven Kent is producing today’s greatest Livermore Cabernets, wines that hearken back to the valley’s roots as one of California’s best wine regions. Drink now–2013.

Steven Kent 2007 Ghielmetti Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley

93 points. Give this Cabernet some time in the cellar. Right now, it’s a little tough in acids and tannins, although the blackberry, cherry, black currant and smoky oak flavors are rich and fine and enjoyable now. But it should soften and be even more approachable after 2013.

Steven Kent 2007 Smith Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley

91 points. This is a lovely wine to drink now. It’s so dry and elegantly constructed, with wonderfully ripe tannins and great integration of oak with the fruit. There’s a nice balance of acidity to balance the blackberry, cherry and cola flavors. Drink now, with a brief decant.

Two more Steven Kent Cabernet Sauvignons also received high ratings with Wine Enthusiast. The popularity of these wines with consumers is evident, as these are sold out.

Steven Kent 2007 Ghielmetti Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley

Steven Kent 2007 Home Ranch Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley

Wine Enthusiast ratings are based on tastings by the magazine’s editors and other qualified tasting panelists, either individually or in a group setting. Tastings are conducted blind or in accordance with accepted industry practices.

Wine Enthusiast Scores:

  • 95-100 — Superb. One of the greats.
  • 90-94 — Excellent. Extremely well made and highly recommended.
  • 85-89 — Very good. May offer outstanding value if the price is right.
  • 80-84 — Good. Solid wine, suitable for everyday consumption.

Visitors can enjoy a seated tasting experience at The Steven Kent Winery, complete with artisan cheese.

Visitors to Steven Kent can expect a knowledgeable, friendly tasting room staff that will guide you through the tasting flight options. Visitors can choose between the Barrel Room Flight and Reserve Flight. There is also a special table tasting flight that is accompanied with hand-selected artisan cheeses. During the warmer months, tastings can also be done on the patio with views of the surrounding vineyard.

Steven Kent Winery is open daily from noon to 4:30 pm.

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